Contract incorporates bill of lading, unissued at time of contracting

A heavy, awkwardly-shaped boiler fell while being loaded onto a ship and sustained significant damage.  The issue in Pt. Jawamanis Rafinasi v. Coastal Cargo Co. was whether a limitation of liability in the Carriage of Goods at Sea Act, inapplicable by its terms to this accident on shore, was nevertheless incorporated in the parties’ contract.  No. 12-30668 (July 24, 2013, unpublished).   The Court found that the limitation applied because it was included in the shipper’s bill of lading, even though the purchaser of the boiler lacked actual knowledge of the bill’s terms.  “Case law in the Fifth Circuit demonstrates that an unissued bill of lading nevertheless binds the parties.”  (citing, inter alia, Luckenbach S.S. Co. v. American Mills Co., 24 F.2d 704, 705 (5th Cir. 1928)).

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